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and i wanted young people to capture the spirit of the dream, because the dream of equal justice, fairness, and equal opportunity is what it's all about. and that dream has not been fulfilled. but if the next generation keeps fighting on and on and on, we will fulfill it one day. well, thanks for watching. i'm al sharpton. "hardball" starts right now. tonight 44. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. let me start tonight with this. did you see the movie "42"? it's the story of jackie robinson, the first african-american to play in the major leagues. it's the story how a number of bad guys tried to bounce him out of the game, even at his first
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at-bat. the snarls from other dugout t cat calls from the crowds, the trouble even from his own teammates. they all wanted the same, to somehow make it like this guy, this black guy was never in the majors to begin with. what we're watching right now on the news could be called 44. it's about the same crap being thrown at the first african-american to make to it the white house. he's not from here, he's from kenya or indonesia or some place else. he's got no right to be president. the shouts come from the dusty towns of texas all the way to trump tower. he's not eligible to be our country's head of state. that was only the beginning. next came the effort to delegitimize the people who put him in office. can't let that happen again. so the word went forward to three dozen states that the best way to keep future obamas out of the white house is to keep african-americans and young people who don't think that much about race out of the voting booth. a couple more things. got to kill any evidence we ever had an african-american president.
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got to get that obama care off the books. ted cruz will shut down the u.s. government to get that job done. finally, why not? let's impeach the guy. let's run him out of town on a rail. let's tar and feather him. let's really mess up that record by putting the word into the history books, there was talk of impeachment on his watch, even if they can't find a reason for it, unless it's one big fat reason everyone sees. it's the number on his back, 44. how do way get into the books that this guy really wasn't president? if we can't convince people he came from africa, can't kill the african-american vote that elected him, can't kill his historic accomplishment in health care, let's bring him up on charges. let's string him up, boys, so nobody will ever say he was president, much less a pretty good president. david corn is with mother jones and david axelrod, former adviser to president obama. both are msnbc political analysts. gentlemen, i want to start this.
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take a look. these a all republicans' efforts to impeach all in 2013. representative steve stockman threatened impeachment over the president's plan to curb gun violence by executive action. representative mo brooks introduced the constitutional amendment that would impeach obama if he can't balance the budget. senator james inhofe has suggested obama will be impeached over benghazi. he didn't even mention a reason, by the way. representative carey bben volle would hold constituents that it is a good question why obama hasn't already been impeached. and tom coburn that he is getting perilously close to a reason for impeachment. david, this is a consistent pattern of delegitimization leading all the way up to 2013 with a big impeachment effort
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now by these people. >> you know what this reminds me of? it's what people say, it may not even be true about pornography and drugs that you keep having to get a bigger, better fix you. get used to something. >> birtherism ain't good enough. >> it's not goo enough. we've been talking about this for five year 2000s about delegitimizing this guy. >> but it's escalating. >> not accepting him. it hasn't worked politically. it hasn't really soothed the salve vic, you know, beasts of the right wing part of the republican party. and yet it's like the ante keeps getting raised higher and higher. and to be legitimately seen by the republican grassroots, you have to now at least -- look what tom coburn did. to me he is the real measure here. he is a guy who has had a good personal relationship with the president. he sometimes goes against his own party. even though he is a real conservative. and here he won't smack this down. >> and guess who said -- i wondered what his enemies are saying about him. david axelrod. david, i heard your line over
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the weekend. it does seem to be like in sports terms going back to 42 in that great movie about jackie robinson, which was really a good movie, a great movie. >> yeah. >> this idea of trying to put an asterisk next to president obama's name like roger maris 162 games that year, it didn't really count or barry bonds and drugs. anything to get the guy off the record books. this obsession with getting rid of the affordable health care act, this obsession with letting birtherism fly. we're going to talk more about it in the show. these republican bigwigs like boehner let it fly all around him and refuse to shoot it down. they still like the idea of birtherism, he is really from some other country, whether it's from donald trump or somebody in texas. >> i think a lot of this emanates from the nature of the republican base. and a lot of these guys are throwing red meat to the base. how much red meat they need, you know, is a big question. i think they would be -- their cholesterol would be about 400 by now. but yet they keep throwing the red meat, and they get
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their constituencies for throwing the read meat. the real question is the republican leadership going to tolerate that. boehner has yet to really stand up to these folks. and that is something that really deserves to be repudiated. and you would hope he would. one thing i would say though, chris, delegitimization of presidents is something that we've seen now. it happened under the clinton administration. we all remember how vituperative those times were. and there were people on the left who aimed some of that at george w. bush. admittedly, it's spun out of control now, because these folks are in control of the republican party. so it's at a fevered pitch now. but we've got this mad cycle going where each party -- yes, go ahead. >> but let me challenge that nancy pelosi had an opportunity to jump on george w. bush in the same regard. look at what she did here. she didn't play that game.
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she shot it down right away. i'm not going to get into delegitimization. let's watch nancy. she did not let them play this game. let's watch her, please. i'm sorry. >> okay, go ahead. >> she has pledged as a speaker she would giver the republicans rights like allowing them to introduce amendments to bills. but she may have trouble reigning in the democrats' appetite for revenge there has already been talk of multiple investigations and impeachment of the president. >> no. impeachment is off the table. >> and that's a pledge? >> well, it's a pledge, yes, it's a pledge. of course it is. it is a waste of time. >> so that's completely off the table. >> well, she went with leslie stahl in that very point, she wouldn't play the game of saying we'll look at it. >> exactly. >> or i don't want to shut down any memories like boehner keeps saying i don't want to shut down any opinion. if somebody says he is from indonesia, fine, say it. it's like let a thousand flowers
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bloom. it's all okay with boehner as long as i don't lose my job as speaker. >> i thoroughly agree with you. and that's why nancy pelosi in my view was a great leader because she was willing to stand up to the most strident voices in her own party in order to do what she thought was best for the country. and that's what people expect from their leaders. we don't see that kind of leadership in the republican party right now. and it's a problem for them. it's one of the reasons why their stock is trading so low nationally. it's one of the reasons congress's stock is trading so low nationally. >> one thing i'll say. everything looks different, you know, at the time the smart move might have been with regard to clinton's misbehavior with the intern or former intern, probably was a letter of resolution or some sort of censuring and move on, instead of the republicans going crackpot over it and going all the way to impeaching him. but it seems at least i'll say the republicans back in those days had a cause. he did something. he didn't tell the truth under oath. >> those are all scandal
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thinking time they don't even have a reason. they say impeach him because we don't like him. >> there was a real scandal there was sex in the oval office. in talking what nancy pelosi did, there was an issue. in the reagan years the democrats took impeachment off the table during the iron contra business which was a real scandal too. the problem is you see this divide. you see bobby jindal just this weekend saying i don't want any talk of impeachment. let's stick to serious stuff. you're going see a divide within the republican party. >> who is in the majority. >> between the crazies and the noncrazies. >> take a look, david axelrod. take a look at this republican delusion isn't just confined to the impeachment. ted cruz says president obama might himself defund the historic affordable care act that he got through with 62% of votes in a house majority. here is cruz speaking with cnn's candy crowley actually saying, well, maybe this is tactics, obama would crush his historic
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accomplishment in health care. here he is. here is cruz. >> now is the single best time to stop obama care because there is bipartisan agreement that it's not working. the wheels are coming off. and because defunding it, if it doesn't happen now, it's likely never to happen. >> the president is never going to sign a bill that defunds obama care. >> you may be convinced of that. >> you're not convinced of that? >> what's the tactic there? you're an expert on politics, david axed roll. why has cruz openly suggested the president would croak his historic accomplishment which every democrat and some republican presidents going stall way through the 20th century saying they were going to do health care. he did it. why would he ever kill it? >> well, look, i can't crawl into ted cruz's head. >> please do. >> and explain all of the -- that's a place i don't want to go, brother. but i will tell you this. you know, he is trying to make the case that the president is somehow moving away because he has extended some deadlines in
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order to smooth the transition. >> yeah, i know. >> to obama care. but here is -- but chris, sheer what is phenomenal. here is a guy who comes from a state where a quarter of the people don't have health insurance. it's the worst record in the country, and he is smarmily sit there's and somehow makes a case that we somehow shouldn't move forward on this. i have to believe there are an awful lot of people who are feeling they have been ill served by the guy right now because they have such a terrible problem down there, and obama care will help. but if the state allows it, which they are not right now. >> and by the way, anybody who has ever sat in an african-american knows it's not like on television. they're not racing through. it's hours and hours and hours of waiting to get treated. i had it once with malaria. i did it. you're so right smarmily. i got to stop here. >> this is a sense of desperation that they have --
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obama care is -- >> people are going to like it. >> more benefits. so they're getting desperate. shut down the government, and impeachment, because boy, they got to get their people. >> they got to get them off the record books. thank you so much, david corn and david axelrod. thank you so much. republican fever. we know the republicans have decided if they can't get people to vote for them, they'll just make it tougher for people to vote against them. now colin powell is telling fellow republicans their voter id laws will backfire on them. also, birther fever. nothing has stopped the birther talk on the right. let me ask you this. when was the last time a republican did a mccain and stood up to this dangerous birther talk? and that horrible chemical weapons attack over in syria. everyone seems to agree we need to do something. but no one can agree on what that something is. all the body language suggests the u.s. is about to take some kind of military action. finally, something new here on "hardball." i'll answer some of your twitter questions on the air. and when i give you my answers, i'm not limiting myself to 140 characters.
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donald trump likes to say you're fired. now new york attorney general is saying to trump you're sued. eric schneiderman has filed a $40 million lawsuit geanes trump saying he has helped to run what turned out to be a phony trump university, which was supposed to make students rich. instead snyderman says students who paid up to $35,000 a year were steered into mostly useless seminars, and that trump failed to deliver on promised apprenticeships. he calls it a classic bait and switch scam. trump says trump university has a higher approval rating from its students than harvard or wharton. we'll be right back. right now, 7 years of music is being streamed.
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photo id. well, you didn't need photo id for decades before. is it really necessary now? and they claim there is widespread abuse. but nothing documents that there isn't widespread abuse. so these kinds of procedures are being put in place to slow the process down and make it likely that fewer hispanics and african-americans might vote i think are going to backfire, because these people are going to come out and do what they have to do in order to vote. and i encourage that. >> well, that's for sure. welcome back to "hardball." with that statement yesterday, general colin powell became the highest profile republican yet to criticize the gop, his party, for trying to disenfranchise minority voters. and he said the plan is going to backfire. you heard him there that was yesterday. some republicans have been unnervingly candid about their goals here. in pennsylvania, republicans spoke as if under truth serum about using voter id requirements, the new ones they're pushing to simply limit the vote. here is june of 2012 followed by
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the pennsylvania gop chairman both openly saying the purpose of the new laws is to screw the black voter. let's watch. >> voter id, which is going to allow governor romney to win the state of pennsylvania, done. >> do you think all the attention drawn to voter id affected last year's elections? >> yeah, i think a little bit. i think we probably had a better election. think about this. we got obama by 5%, which is big. he beat mccain by 10% and only beat romney by 5%. i think probably voter id helped a bit in that. >> are they blunt or what? they just openly say voter sid a way to slow down the democratic minority vote they're talking about. anyway, we talked a lot about this on "hardball," this systemic disenfranchisement and it is systemic of minority voters, and it comes in many forms, of course. photo id requirements, shortened early voting days, including the
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sunday before election day when many african-american churches encourage their members to vote in a souls to the polls effort. cutting off same-day registration, and of course longer waiting times, longer lines to discourage people from voting. these numbers from an m.i.t. are astounding. in 2012 average blacks and hispanics spent on average twice as much time as a white voter. in the march on wednesday, it's more clear than ever that civil rights are linked to voting rights. as the first field secretary of the naacp in mississippi, civil rights leader medgar evers organized voter registration efforts. evers was assassinated in 1963 mere months before the march on washington. since then as a civil rights activist and former executive director of the naacp, his widow myrlie evers williams has carried on his legacy. she joins me sitting rights here, along with joy reid, manager the grio and msnbc contributor.
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i have been chasing after you, joy. i see you everywhere but here. now i've got you here finally. you are very smart about this stuff. and i know you're from the younger generation. i want to get myrlie on this too. i want you to react to this. a couple of things. it's not just minority voters that benefit from traditional voting patterns. the easier way to vote, younger people have a harder time budgeting their time. they just do for whatever reason. the easier it is to vote, the more are going to vote. african-american voters, many don't have money to have a car, don't have a driver's license, may be older living in row houses like i used to live as a kid, and they basically have a hard time kochlg up with that government-approved id card which everybody in the burbs says is so easy to get when it ain't so easy to get. >> right. >> it looks to me like this is getting hotter. they ain't quitting, no matter how much we mock them on this show. and i mock reince priebus and his 36-state effort. it doesn't stop them, because they're not after black votes. they don't care if they humiliate black voters. they seem to have given up on the minority vote, where as when
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i grew up, people competed for the black vote in the old days. they have given up. they don't care what you think i guess. >> even nixon. nixon got more than 36% of the african-american vote. it used to be republicans were at least competitive for that vote. i'm glad you included hispanic. when you see a demographic waive, you can try to appeal or make it harder for voters to vote. and what republicans have chosen is the latter. and what they're doing is not just going after the stuff you mentioned. they're also attacking same-day voter registration, which is overwhelm leg used by young voters. they going after college campus locations to vote. >> explain that one, how it works. >> basically, a lot of students, when i was in college, you vote on the campus there is a voting place right there. one of the tricks the republicans are doing, they're doing in north carolina is actually closing that polling place so that you as a student now don't have any place on campus to vote zwrouchlt to go further. they even tried this at a historically black college in north carolina meaning those students have to travel. and they're challenging in some
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states the ability of students to vote where they go to school. a lot of kids earn a four-year degree, they vote where you go to school, and you don't have a car. >> and you don't have car. row are you supposed to get to the polling place. what this is about is the demographic wave that is hitting them is a youth weave. for their voters, over 60, 4/5 of the voters are white. for voters 3/5 are minority. when you're going after young voters, you scoop up minority voters at the the same time. and they don't think they can win those votes. >> but they know what you know and they're playing a different game. myrlie evers, thank you for coming on "hardball." you said it was an honor to have you. of course it is an honor to have you this. voting rights issue, its name of the game, isn't it? >> it is the name of the game. but i have encouraged people to take something that has been used recently as a slogan and that is hold your ground.
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not in the sense of the trayvon martin case, but in the sense of how important it is to hold on to the gains that we have made and be aware of the fact that there are all kinds of efforts being made across this country to reverse us from where we are now in progress to back where we are. if i may, we had to tell how many beans were in a jar, how many bubbles in a bar of soap, interpret the constitution of the state. >> these were literacy requirements? >> yes. and it was something that not only held people back, but it gave them strength to move forward. we're looking at a new generation now of people. >> we had the poll tax, or you did. >> well, we had the poll tax. and the poll tax was something that said i am a man, i am a woman, i am a citizen of this country. it was something a pride. people gave their lives for that. >> to make your point, let's
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take a look at the 2012 election turnout numbers, which really is inspiring. this is the first time this has ever happened in a census. you see. here is the reason why the republicans may want to suppress their own efforts. well, we'll see how these numbers look out. in 2012, a year ago, for the first time in that election, black voter turnout passed that of white, 66.2% of eligible black voters cast ballots. 64.1 non-hispanic whites cast ballots. the percentage of turnout was better. the old days of doing registration so blacks could catch up to whites because of past history has succeeded to a point. the only person who did a better point of black voter registration was frank rizzo in philadelphia. the black felt so much he was anti-their interesting they went out and voted.
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>> we're going see a movement, a strong movement of not only african-americans, but other minorities in america come together, devise ways to get that vote out, to override what is being taken on as something very important in states amongst white. and i don't like doing that, but it's true, of white politicians and what not. it's power. and we have to the realize that that is what it is. we must become innovative. we must become strong. we must use old tactics and come up with the new ones. and most of all, impress upon our youth how important it is. >> this is a hot issue. joy, thanks for coming on the the show tonight. joy reid, you were great and compelling, and myrlie evers williams, what an honor to have you on. what a week to have you on too. >> thank you. >> coming up next, something new on "hardball." i'm going answer your twitter questions. i'm going do it right here on the show. and i'm going to respond to the hard ones too.
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this is "hardball," the place for politics. [ jackie ] it's just so frustrating...
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welcome back. since i first started on tv, "hardball" has always been the place to make a little noise, as those of you who play the game of politics know, sometimes it's only the tough questions to get real answers. it's the fastballs, after all that, get knocked over the fence. and so as a thank you to all those who have been loyal over the years, i want to turn the tables and give up the bully pulpit to you, the audience, and answer some questions that you have posed on twitter. before i kick that off, i want to show you how much times have changed with this, the original opening to this show back in the late '90s. ♪ >> ah, youth. those were different times. let's start with our first question, which comes to us from darrin from albany, new york. he asks, quote, should hillary clinton declare that she'll only
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serve one term as president to blunt age questions? any answer is you never talk about the second term. you just talk about the first term. i think she'll be able to make that decision at the end of her first term if everything is looking good for her. next up from gustavo in idaho, he asked do you feel president obama has done enough to push this congress toward deficit reduction. my answer is no. it hasn't been a priority for him. it hasn't been a priority for the other party either, because neither party wants to take the first step. on the democratic side, it's refusal to deal with entitlement reform. both sides should take the first step. they won't. i wish the president did. up next, the question packs quite a punch. it comes from and due rye from portland, oregon. he asks, chris, how about we call today's gop what they really are, fascists. they adhere to all 14 defining characteristics of it. shaking my head. well, you call them what you want. i don't like terms like that. they call the democrats communists and socialists. i don't like name-calling of that kind. and i do think, and that is just a separate answer to your
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question, i think they've been tactics used by the republican right, like voting against everything, trying to shut down the government, voting in a way that just basically shut downs any kind of activity by a democratic government i think has a totalitarian quality. i would never use the word fascist on an american. and we'll be right back. you're watching "hardball." the timing. the actions. the reactions. everything has to sync up. my expenses are no different. membership streamlines your business expenses. with receiptmatch from american express just shoot your business card receipts and they're automatically matched up with the charges on your online statement. i'm john kaplan, and i'm a member of a synchronized world. this is what membership is. this is what membership does. individualization that your body needs. this labor day, don't invest in a mattress until you visit a sleep number store. when we actually lower the sleep number setting to get the sleep number bed to conform to them, it's amazing the transition that you see with people.
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milissa rehberger. here is what is happening. the raging wildfire in yosemite national park is moving closer to a reservoir that is san francisco's main source of water. the rim fire has burned 234 square miles and is 15% contained. more than 360 pit bulls were rescued in a huge dogfighting raid in alabama, georgia and mississippi. 12 people have been arrested. and 11-year-old sarah murnaghan who received two lung plants will go home tuesday after winning a court battle with the donor system. back to "hardball."
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i can't trust obama. i have read about him, and he is not -- he is not -- he is a -- he is an arab. he is not -- no? >> no, ma'am, no, ma'am. he's a decent family man, citizen, that i just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues. and that's what this campaign is all about. >> welcome back to "hardball" that is republican john mccain in october of 2008, correcting the record for a voter in new hampshire for claiming his then rival senator barack obama was arab. but nearly five years later, mccain's forceful and dismissive response has had little effect on the party he once led. even after president obama's resounding reelection in 2012, republican lawmakers in congress continue to fan the flames of the birther movement. but what is more outrageous is the indifference leaders of the gop itself show towards its rank and file who dishonor the
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presidency this way. where are the grownups? why do the leaders in this republican party refuse to stand up and put an end to this nonsense the way senator mccain really tried to do. maybe they're scared of facing some irrational voters back home. take a listen to a consistent at the moderate and soft-spoken former republican mike cassel's town hall in 2009. >> i want to go back to january 20th, and i want to know why are you people ignoring his birth certificate? che [ cheering ] he is not an american citizen. in world war ii, the greatest generation in the pacific theater. in the country. and i don't want this flag to change. i want my country back. >> i don't want our flag to
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change. a racial undercurrent to the shocking disrespect that this president has endure over the years seems obvious. but the real question remains why has not one republican come forward to denounce this incivility towards president obama and lack of respect for the office he holds? former chairman of the republican national committee of course is michael steele, our friend here and colleague, and the former governor of pennsylvania and democratic national committee chair ed rendell joins us now to discuss. this i want to start with michael, whose got the republican roots here. it seems we got a bunch more examples recently. i'm going to run through stockman now and this ted yoho. it's not like they're a majority. but hen they creep up sort of like weeds growing through the sidewalk that. >> just keep growing. nobody pulls them out and says no, that's not our party. why won't your leader, people like boehner, who isn't a bad guy just say this is unacceptable, it's unamerican, stop talking like that. he says sort of like mao in the old days. let a thousand flowers bloom. anybody has an opinion, they're all valid.
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let's listen to them. >> i think that's part of the problem. a lot of them is fear of them. they're scared to death of that base. they don't want to get on the wrong side of it. >> these whack jobs waving certificates and flags. >> because when you get back home in that environment and that pressure cooker starts to build around your support of the president or saying something nice about the president which what makes john mccain stand oout all the more. in the heat of a presidential debate and battle he was willing to say no, this man is a decent human being who is an american citizen i just happen to disagree with. which is the approach i think if the party leadership took, if a lot of these folks would take, people would rezze flate to that, because then it's not personal. but when you personalize it the way they have, the reality changes for them. >> i can imagine, again, i'm not an african-american, but the voters have given up the republican. governor, you gotten a lot of support in all different kinds of communities in pennsylvania. it seems to me that if the republicans have any shot at the middle class black vote in this country, any shot, they would say something like mccain just did, and people watching on television would say he's not a
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bad guy. i could see voting for him. but they're not going to vote for these yahoos and these crazy people that are saying the flag is theirs, the flag doesn't belong to blacks, the flag doesn't belong to democrats, it's theirs and only theirs. >> chris, you're absolutely right. but not only does it hurt with african-american voter, it hurts with the independent moderate voters who could be persuaded to support a republican candidate, but who look at that, and when they hear silence from the leadership, silence from chris christie, silence from john boehner, silence from ted cruz, silence from rand paul, they say to themselves, what is wrong with this party? are they controlled by these whacks? are the leaders so afraid of these wa whacks that they're not going stand up and say what is right. it's an easy answer. no, folks, he is an american citizen. talk like that is one of the things that is hurting our political party, the party that you and i care about. so cut it out.
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that's a good answer, and that's an answer that would resonate with most of the people in the room. not all, but most. >> are they more afraid of john boehner or the loud guy in the back row? >> they're nor afraid of the loud guy in the back row, no doubt about it. a lot of that vitriol has poisoned the political conversation to the point where you can't even say i'm going to -- i want to meet the president at the white house and talk about these issues. >> how about the guy who said i didn't want to stand ten feet. the mere physical contact. and charlie crist. do you get blown out down there in florida because he hugged the president? >> and will likely come back. >> sheer steve stockman. we don't make this up. he is from texas. he is a u.s. congressman. see floating the possibility of introducing a new piece of birther legislation in congress because he says, quote, one of the things i always questioned buzz the documentation of the president, whether that was fraudulent. let's keep going with this. stockman already has one co-sponsor for his potential birther bill. speaking at a town hall meeting earlier this month, this is
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fresh news, florida republican congressman ted yoho said he was hopeful that a birther investigation could bring down the whole government. he said, quote, they said if it's true, it's illegal. he shouldn't be there. and we can get rid of everything he has done. and i said i agree with that get rid of everything he has done. that's what it's all about. he tells constituents he is on board with stockman's bill. let's listen to mr. yoho. >> my question is what do you know about obama's identification fraud? >> let me just stop you right there. you're talking about the birth certificate? >> uh-huh. >> we lost that argument -- >> i'm sorry? >> we lost that argument. we had four years to get that. we didn't. we re-elected him. so that's a dead issue. and guys, i don't -- i'm not defending this guy. please give me -- hear what i'm saying. i'm not defending this guy. >> i'm not defending this guy. he has to apologize. >> right. >> for saying the president is not an illegal immigrant. it's unbelievable.
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>> but you skate over the fact that as a political point, you lost the election because of those types of questions that are coming out of birth certificates. people are concerned about jobs, they're concerned about the economy and health care. so you weren't even talking about some central issues. i started with a strong statement. i know you're going challenge me at some point. go ahead, michael. i think a lot of this is 44 kind of stuff. just like i compared him to jackie robinson. these guys it's almost like we've got to put an asterisk next to his name. he has not really been president. his bill didn't go anywhere, that obama care, we're getting that off the books. we're going get him off the books. we're going to say he is illegitimate, he is from somewhere else. it's like they want to erase him. they can't stand -- it's like tissue rejection in their bodies. they've got to this get foreign object out. put my head on the pillow, dear. i can't fall asleep tonight because there is a black president. it's killing me. i know that's hideous, but isn't there something there? why don't they get off it and fight over jobs or fight over
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trade or immigration? >> look, i would agree with it. governor, i don't know what we're going to do with chris tonight. he is on a roll here. i would agree with that part of it. there is something visceral here. and unfortunately, it comes off as a little bit racist. it comes off a little bit, you know, anti-fill in the blank. but i think if those voices, the chris christies, the rand pauls out there who can take this -- >> don't say chris christie to governor rendell. >> right, right. >> there is tissue rejection coming right there. >> no! >> that can position themselves to really change the dynamic of this conversation. >> you like christie after all, right, governor? >> no, i think he has done some good things, chris. i really do. but i differ with him on a lot of stuff. but look, the bottom line is -- >> but he is up against 4i8, you may not like him so much. >> absolutely. but look. i think the bottom line is, chris, you can stand up to the people in the room. you can stand up to them. and i think the republican
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voters, they may bo to the right. they may be tea party members. most understand the president is a united states citizen, period. and if you show a little gumption, a little guts, a little backbone, they're not going to vote against you because of it. >> that's well said. i think part of it is giggling, and they love needling him, and they know technically he isn't an american. they just don't like it. i don't mean technically, really. michael steele, thank you as always. and governor rendell, it's great to have you i don't on. coming up, should we get involved in syria? and do we want other side, that's the problem, picking somebody to root for in this terrible fight with the horrific use now of chemical weapons. what are we going to do? this is "hardball," the place for politics. we don't have to g♪ ♪ fire, fire, you can take me higher ♪ ♪ take me to the mountains, start a revolution ♪ ♪ hold my hand, we can make, we can make a contribution ♪ ♪ brand-new season, keep it in motion ♪ ♪ 'cause the rhyme is the reason ♪ ♪ break through, man, it doesn't matter who you're talking to ♪ [ male announcer ] completely redesigned
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stop taking cialis and get medical help right away. ask your doctor about cialis for daily use and a 30-tablet free trial. i've got some new quinnipiac polling numbers. let's go to the "hardball" scoreboard for that. it's neck and neck now between new jersey governor chris christie out there and hillary clinton in the purple state of colorado, with christie edging clinton by a statistically insignificant one point. that's fun, though, isn't it? clinton comes home with a 3.5% lead over ted cruz of texas. that's not much, but that too is within the margin of error. joe biden doesn't fare nearly as well as clinton. he loses in the poll to christie by 17 points, 50-33. and even loses to cruz by 6. not good for joe. we'll be right back.
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our commitment has never been stronger. what we saw in syria last week should shock the conscience of the world. it defies any code morality. as a father, i can't get the image out of my head of a man who held up his dead child, wailing, while chaos swirled around it. the images of entire families dead in their beds without a drop of blood, or even a visible wound. anyone who could claim an attack of this staggering scale could be contrive order fabricated needs to check their conscience and their own moral compass. what is before us today is real, and it is compelling. >> we're back. of course that's secretary of state john kerry with great emotion now, unusual emotion for them talking about what has been
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happening with this horrendous attack by chemical weapons by the government in syria. the united states seems poised to launch some kind of military retaliation, we don't know what, against syria. thestrikes. this comes as american officials say there's very little doubt as you just heard that sere wra did use chemical weapons against civilians last week. according to a credible group, 3,600 people showed symptoms consistent with exposure to a toxic nerve agent like saran gas. 355 died. today john mccain said launching cruise missiles isn't enough. >> and if the united states stands by and doesn't take very serious action, not just launching some cruise missiles, then, again, our credibility in the world is diminished even more if there's any left. >> that's pretty tough. perhaps not ironically it's the people in the military, themselves, former generals like colin powell who are most cautious about striking sere
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wra. asking the key question, okay, then what happens? >> i have no affection for mr. assad. i've dealt with him. i know him. and he is a pathological liar, with respect to my interaction with him. at the same time, i'm less sure of the resistance. what do they represent? is it becoming even more radicalized with more al qaeda coming in? what would it look like if they prevailed and assad went? i don't know. >> well, robin wright is senior fellow at the woodrow wilson institute. i didn't like vietnam, don't like iraq. i think we get into wars that cost us lives of 60,000 americans. fill giant baseball stadiums in overflow with dead people from that war. heroic people, a war, tell me what happened. i'm skeptical. when the bugles blow, i cover my ears. this war, 9% of the american
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people, less than one in ten say let's go fight in syria. even a the beginning before we shot a single round of anything, the american people say, we're not getting in this war. how do we reconcile not wanting to get in this war and smashing the face of bashar assad, the guy who launched chemical warfare? >> there are no easy options at the moment, but i think the administration has now signaled it is prepared to act. what is so interesting about secretary kerry's comments was the passion he put into it, empb mo even more so than the content. this is clearly a moment he's trying to take the american public along with him and to say this is worth the investment. the question, of course, becomes as so many americans are asking, what does come next? the fact the syrian opposition has not provided the kind of interlock we had in libra, iraq, or afghanistan, yet all three of those countries ended up with the kind of leadership that weren't exactly admirable. >> what government would replace
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the syrian government of today? >> well, that's just question. the syrian opposition has not been able to provide an alternative government, shadow government. it's not been able to come up with a team that would engage with the regime in damascus and peace talks. now, we can strong arm them and get them to paris or geneva or some place to talk. the question is, how popular are they on the ground? how many of the forces -- >> let's play the usual game. our biggest friend is israel. jordan after israel, but israel clearly. what happens to israel if the assad government is overthrown? they have somebody on their border. have the golan heights in dispute. they have a border, they share with them. they have to live with them. what happens to israel? what do they do? do they -- do they side with -- they're not going to side with hezbollah. hezbollah just lost the war. it was on the other side. hezbollah is the with the assad government. >>clearly wants some
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kind of transition, that sees assad step down and secular -- >> we all want that. it's called christmastime. >> that's right. that's the problem with syria. this is the strategic center. no country is more important. no country is more divided web it comes to ethnic groups, sectarian division. that's a problem -- >> how do you do no warm? >> how do you do no warm? a and once you cross the tlesh hold and are engraged many military action you're not blamed for everything that follows because of action or inaction. there's danger that we get sucks into it step by step. this is the kind of thing opol r polarizing the regions. >> the hawks who want us to go in, against iran, iraq, against everybody, want us to go in this time again which makes me suss pish suspicious. robin wright. thanks so much.
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let me finish tonight with this. i'm not new to politics, nor to the issues that divide us nor am i free of the passions that engage. i caught the bug when i was 5. i can't remember a time i haven't cared about what was running for office, who i wanted to win and what they did when they got there. starting after i got back from my two years of change, life change over in africa with the peace corps, i chalked up five
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years working in the u.s. senate, four in the white house, including time as presidential speechwriter and six years as top aide to tip o'neill. on top of that, 15 years experience with the san francisco examiner as a newspaperman, and later the k chronicle. this background taught me how to watch politicians in action. there's more to it than that. in the 6 '60s between kennedy being killed and nixon resigning, two issues dominated this country, civil rights and vietnam. those two causes still dominate me. support for the rights of people in this country, opposition to wars a abroad based so often on failure to stop, look and listen before getting into them. we lost 58,000 americans in vietnam, enough to overflow a giant american baseball stadium. we've gone in the middle east again and again under the bushes, and have yet to see the advantage to us or the middle east. expect me to discuss history as it relates to what's happening now, hear me analyze what politicians are doing today with what i've seen other politicians do before. and you can expect me to fight for the causes that stirred me
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in my 20s when passions rose, minds were set and life missions accepted. and this is "hardball." the place for politics. thanks for being with us. "all in with chris hayes" starts right now. good evening, from new york, i'm chris hayes. tonight on "all in" the white house says there is very little doubt that chemical weapons were used in syria. now the question on everyone's mind is whether the u.s. is on the eve of another war. also tonight, what happens when a right wing fringe congressman says something patently false and the world takes him seriously? plus, donald trump has a giant lawsuit on his hands over accusation he scammed thousands of people all over the country. we'll talk to someone who said she was duped out of over $10,000. those stories are ahead. we begin tonight on the doorstep of another war in the

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Hardball With Chris Matthews
MSNBC August 26, 2013 4:00pm-5:01pm PDT

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